Barack Obama is opening up about the importance of being a father.
On Saturday, the former president, 59, revealed that when his eldest daughter Malia, now 22, was born, he made a promise to “always" put his family first.
“The fact that my own father was largely absent from my childhood helped shape my ideas about the kind of father I intended to be,” he wrote, alongside a throwback family photo, taken when Sasha, now 19, and Malia were young children.
“When Malia was born, I made a promise to myself that my kids would know me, that they’d grow up feeling my love keenly and consistently, knowing that I’d always put them first,” he wrote.
Despite the challenges of the presidency, Obama shared that he made a point of having dinner with his family every night during his eight years in office.
“While serving as President, I made sure to have dinner with Michelle, Sasha, and Malia every evening by 6:30. We’d eat some good meals and catch up on our days,” he wrote. “That was one of the best parts of living above the store, as I sometimes called it.”
“Seeing them grow up into the intelligent, strong, and compassionate young women they’ve become has been the greatest joy of my life,” he added.
In recognition of the important role his family has played in his life, Obama shared that he dedicated his upcoming memoir, A Promised Land, to his daughters and wife Michelle Obama, with whom he recently celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary.
“I’m reminded constantly that there’s no place in the world I’d rather be than with Miche and our girls—and it's why I've dedicated my memoir to them,” he wrote.
Alongside the family snapshot, the former president also shared a photo of the touching dedication. “To Michelle — my love and life’s partner and Malia and Sasha — whose dazzling light makes everything brighter," he wrote.
A Promised Land is the first of two volumes of his post-presidential memoir, and will offer an "honest accounting" of Obama's presidency from his perspective, as well as a deeper look into “the personal journey that Michelle and I went through during those years, with all the incredible highs and lows.”
A Promised Land will be published on Nov. 17.
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